Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Grace and the Building of Boats - Part IV

Theologically Shopping For a New Boat Called Grace

So I have been shopping around for a new boat. My older children will have to shop for their own boat. My younger children will be in this new boat with Husband and myself until they are old enough for their own boat. (Yes, he is shopping with me fortunately.)

We have looked around at all the stores. Some have speed crafts, some have seemingly very simple crafts but the paddles are huge, some look too much like the last boat we left. Some have less “fixings” on them but seem just as heavy. Some purport that they are “new and improved and more relevant.” Some are telling us that they are working on a new model because they found out after years and years of getting everyone to buy their boat that it had major leaks in it and could not get the people to where they were going. Now they are going to build a new one that is going to get the required results. We are welcome to buy their book on the making of the new craft. It just seems that they are not going back far enough to the blueprints to really do a good job at this new one. I don’t know… A couple of stores are only building luxury liners. You can haul a ton of people on them.

But in every store there is a boat off in the corner. It is very dusty. It does not look like it will hold up at all. The salesmen do their best to try to keep us from even examining it. They all seem to say the same kind of things. Things like:

“That boat is way too simple. It will never get you anywhere, just look at it. It does not look safe to me. Too flimsy.
How will your kids be safe in that ? If you got in you would almost be IN the water. The water is way too close to the top. It is too small. Your kids may fall out or be tempted to swim in the water. It does not give you enough distance away from the water.”

Most of all they all stress that they have NEVER seen anyone use this boat. Others had come in and cut it up for parts for their other boats but no one had actually sailed in it. Well, that is not true. They had heard stories of someone trying it and being very successful at navigating the waters in it but those were just stories. No one there at the store thought it could be trusted or used.

But this boat draws us. Why? It is so simple. When we step into it, …it fits us - completely and thoroughly. It is light, even the boys can carry it. We can see that in its lightness it is strong. The material is nothing we have ever seen before. Well we had seen it when we tried to cut it apart and pad our old boat with it but to see it as the whole craft is amazing. It has a built in navigation system straight from the manufacturer. That was something that the old boats said they had but they also had other navigational systems that they seemed to rely on more frequently. This new boat has nothing else. That seems very scary. Everything about this boat which has been christened “Grace” seems to be different yet strangely it feels right.

When we asked the salesman about this boat and what the cost of it was he said the strangest thing. He said that they had had a prophet looking guy come in from the home office and say cryptically that this boat was to be given to anyone who asked for it for free, but to warn the consumer that it would cost them their lives. The salesman was very confused as to what that meant and could not tell us anything more than that. I think he was a little miffed because if we took this boat for free he would not get a commission. Plus he did not want to be responsible if it cost us our lives.

He told us that the only payment was a measure of Faith…and that was the final question. As we dug deep into our own pockets and searched for Faith would we find it?

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.

We have bought the boat, or I think….really….it has bought us. This is the scariest thing we have ever done.


Maria said...

Beautifully said, Barb. You articulate something I've been trying to understand and express about my own journey for some time now. THanks.

Sue said...

Okay. I'm leaving a comment and I haven't even got past the second sentence :)

"So I have been shopping around for a new boat. My older children will have to shop for their own boat."

This, my dear, says volumes upon volumes. Love it, love the freedom you are finding. Breathe deeply :)

Barb said...

Maria and Sue, thanks for reading and commenting. These have been fun to think through and write!

Mike said...

Barb, your analogy means more to me that I can express because it so aptly describes my family's lonely journey. Thank you so much for the affirmation!

Your have an wonderful talent. Please keep writing.


Barb said...

Ah, the words "lonely journey" invoke a feeling that I am starting to know well. I'll poke around your site a bit to find out a bit of your story.
Thanks for the compliment.

bruced said...

Nice thoughts! Reminds me of the "pearl of great price" story. We were taught to believe that Jesus was the pearl, and we had to sell everything we had to obtain the pearl. But, I no longer believe that. I think Jesus was the buyer, and gave up everything to buy the pearl... us!

In fact, the story says that the buyer didn't just buy the pearl... he bought the entire field that held the pearl. So he doesn't only own us, but owns the whole world that holds us!

Barb said...

I love your interpretation of the passage, Bruced. Will look at it again. Thanks

Kelly Dueck said...

Barb, this is such a wonderful analogy! Thanks for writing this.

Barb said...

Kelly, you are so welcome. Thanks for commenting